Work n.sutherland@m… Tue, 05/25/2021 - 15:05

Support at work

These Acts were passed to make sure you are treated fairly and equally in your place of employment. The Equality Act 2010 includes (but is not limited to) protection in the following areas:

  • application forms
  • interview arrangements
  • aptitude or proficiency tests
  • job offers
  • terms of employment, including pay
  • promotion, transfer and training opportunities
  • dismissal or redundancy
  • discipline and grievances.

What are reasonable adjustments?

Your employers are required, by law, to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ in your place of employment so that you can continue to do your job in a reasonable and safe manner. You and your employer should discuss what is considered ‘reasonable’, which could include the following adjustments:

  • Flexible or altered working hours, to help you attend hospital appointments or allow for increased travelling time
    (Note: Another law was passed in June 2014 allowing everyone the right to request flexible working hours after 26 weeks of employment.)
  • More regular breaks
  • Moving your desk to a more accessible area of the office
  • A car parking space by your nearest entrance to work
  • A workstation assessment – simple things like adjusting screen brightness on computers can help
  • The option to work from home.

When should you tell your employer?

You do not have to tell your employer about your disability.

Your employer is only allowed to ask you about your condition or disability before offering you the job under very limited circumstances, for example if they need to:

  • make ‘reasonable adjustments’ (for example, during the interview)
  • make a decision about whether you are able to do something that is an essential part of the job.

Under the DDA, your employer cannot discriminate against you in their recruitment and selection processes. You also have the right to a clear discussion about your needs and any adjustments that might need to be made. If it makes it easier, you can ask your consultant or a regional care advisor to write a letter on your behalf.

You can find general information about different types of muscle-wasting conditions in the About muscle-wasting conditions section of this website.

Discrimination and legal support

The following websites have useful information:

Or you can contact the Employment Law Advice Line on 020 7633 4534.

We also work with two globally renowned legal firms who take on cases for us on a pro bono basis. You can start by discussing your case with us – contact our information and advocacy service.

Practical support

Access to Work

Access to Work is a government scheme that provides practical advice and support to people with a disability, whether working, self-employed or looking for employment.

This scheme helps provide financial assistance towards equipment or support that you need to be able to carry out your job. It can also provide grants towards other employment-related costs such as travelling to work if you cannot access public transport.

Note: You can only contact Access to Work six weeks before your start date for your job.

You may be eligible for support from Access to Work if you are:

  • 16 or over
  • about to start a job or work trial
  • in a paid job or self-employed.

You may not be eligible if you in voluntary work or are already receiving:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Income Support
  • National Insurance Credits.

To learn more about Access to Work or to apply, please visit the government website.

Helping young people access work

The government’s Access to Volunteering  scheme is a positive way to encourage young disabled people to get work experience. The scheme provides financial assistance for organisations who recruit disabled volunteers, diversifying the workplace and breaking down barriers to further recruitment.

Muscular Dystrophy UK provides work experience through our young campaigners network, Trailblazers. They provide lots of opportunities to learn new skills, build relationships and add more experience to your CV.

Other useful links and resources

Grants towards the cost of equipment, retraining and counselling are available for some professions and industries. Find out more at Turn2Us.


Work experience

Work experience n.sutherland@m… Tue, 05/25/2021 - 15:10

We know that finding a job when you have a disability isn’t always easy. It’s why we launched our Moving Up work experience programme – to offer disabled people in London aged 16-30 flexible and hands-on work experience, mentoring and ongoing careers support

Moving up: London work experience placements

We offer work experience opportunities in our London office that are tailored to your needs. You can choose the length and hours of your placement. If you need to work remotely, we can discuss that too.

We will also provide the right equipment so that you can do the best possible job in a truly accessible workplace.

Read more about all the areas of work and what you might be doing.

Once you have completed your work experience with us, we may be able to offer other placements with companies based in the South East.

If you’d like to be considered for a Moving Up work experience placement, please email
We are always looking for companies that would be willing to offer work experience placements to young disabled people. If you know or work for a company that you think might be interested in doing this, please email us.

How Moving Up work experience has made a difference

Participant Jack McLellan, who went on to secure a permanent position as a HR Assistant, and who has subsequently become Moving Up’s new manager, advised young disabled people:

If possible come on the Moving Up project. Work experience is a safe environment to test what adjustments you need and what working hours you can do. There are so many different areas of work on offer, there’s something relevant to everyone. 

Oona Elonen secured a job with us as a Supporter Services Assistant following her Moving Up work experience. She blogged:

MDUK was able – and willing – to accommodate all of my needs, so that the placement would be as enjoyable and smooth as possible and so that I could get the most out of it. I was able to develop my skills more than I thought I was going to! It just proves how a seemingly minor work or volunteering opportunity can prove extremely helpful!

Hannah Sosna, who completed a six-month placement with our digital communications team, wrote about her experience:

I’m not quite sure what the future holds yet but working at MDUK has definitely given me a better understanding of what it is like to work in a large office environment. I’ve also gained more skills and experience, such as data entry, scheduling social media posts and research. Without the MDUK placement, this type of experience would have been very difficult to get, so I’m very grateful for having the opportunity of working with such a nice, professional and welcoming team. If anyone is thinking about applying to the Moving Up project, I definitely would recommend it. The office is lovely and everyone is really friendly. 

Ongoing Employment Support

After you’ve finished your placement with us, we would like to stay in touch to help make sure your training doesn’t stop when you leave our office. We’ll invite you to take part in the following opportunities:

  • work experience placements with other organisations, where possible
  • mentoring and careers advice
  • a range of events, including our Disability Employment Rights training sessions

Christine Lee, who had an external placement at Wall to Wall, writes:

Before the placement, I had never considered a career in media, but now I realise how important television is in shaping society and I feel more positive towards the industry. I would urge young disabled people to consider taking up placements in media companies so you can experience working in the industry. 

Shani Minogue, who helped organise a Disability Employment Rights session at her university, says:

I thought I knew a fair amount about what my rights were when entering employment. However, the session taught me a new wealth of knowledge that I was completely unaware of before, and knowledge I know that will benefit me massively in the future (as well as the disabled students I will be helping!). Especially regarding things like Access to Work, with this scheme being something I only had vaguely heard of before, the session gave me a new-found comprehensive understanding of this. It was incredibly useful, not just for knowing what I am entitled to from employers, but also for what I might need in the future, should the severity of my disability fluctuate.

For more information about placements, events and careers resources, please get in touch with our Work Experience Development Officer, at


We’re always on the look-out for companies and professionals to get involved with our Moving Up project. You can support us by speaking at one of our events, becoming a mentor or offering work experience placements.

We will support you to make sure placements are appropriate for young disabled people and provide expert advice on recruiting disabled people.

If you’d like to work with us to become a more inclusive employer, please get in touch with our Work Experience Development Officer, at

Luke Fisher from creative agency, 20Ten, who has offered Moving Up work placements, says:

Working with the Moving Up programme has helped us to understand some of the challenges that disabled employees face. We love that the programme gives us the opportunity to help support the growth and development of some really talented individuals.

The team behind Moving Up

Trailblazers, MDUK’s network of young disabled campaigners, started the Moving Up project in 2015. This was in response to our investigation into young disabled people’s access to employment, where we found there was a lack of employment and work experience opportunities open to young disabled people. The Moving Up project offers work experience placements and other opportunities for young disabled people, as well as opportunities to work with employers to improve employment opportunities.

Our Ready and able report, published in May 2019, also set out the barriers and possible solutions to disabled employment.


Other resources

Here are just a few other organisations that offer work experience opportunities for disabled people:


Whizz Kidz

Leonard Cheshire

Ambitious about Autism

Central London Works



Useful links

Access to Work – if the help you need at work is not covered by your employer making reasonable adjustments, you may be able to get help from Access to Work.

You’ll be offered support based on your needs, which may include a grant to help cover the costs of practical support in the workplace.

An Access to Work grant can pay for:

  • special equipment, adaptations or support worker services to help you do things like answer the phone or go to meetings
  • help getting to and from work

List of employers who are Disability Confident – the Disability Confident scheme aims to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people. It is voluntary and has been developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives.

The Disability Confident scheme has three levels designed to support employers on their Disability Confident journey. Employers must complete each level before moving on to the next.